Lines of Descent: Masters and Students in the Utagawa School

Ripin Gallery

Through May 21

This exhibition traces the history of an important group of woodblock printmakers in Japan, the Utagawa school. Founded in the Edo Period (1603–1868) by Utagawa Toyoharu, this lineage went on to produce some of the most celebrated print designers in Japanese art. The 52 prints on view include dynamic actor prints by Toyokuni and Kunisada, the renowned landscape prints of Hiroshige, the dramatic narratives of Kuniyoshi, and the creative and technical brilliance of Yoshitoshi.

Utagawa works from the late 18th to the early 20th centuries demonstrate the links between master print designers and their students, who often became masters themselves, as well as how the school adapted to rapid modernization during Japan’s Meiji Period (1868–1912).

Organized by Kevin R.E. Greenwood, Joan L. Danforth Curator of Asian Art.

Utagawa Kunisada I
Memorial Portrait of Utagawa Hiroshige, 1858
Color woodblock print
Mary A. Ainsworth Bequest, 1950.779